CONTENT STRATEGY GUIDE: Planning For The Year Ahead

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We don’t need to tell you the importance of providing high-quality, relevant and useful content to your audience. We also don’t need to explain that content reigns supreme in SEO best practices. As a business leader, you’ve probably been presented a multitude of reports and statistics on the subject. In fact, the information is so vast, it’s hard to get a grip on where to start in cutting through the clutter, creating quality content, and engaging your audience.  At Funnelbox, one of our core values is “envision the goal before you roll.”  Sounds simple, right? It is, but will take additional effort up front. In content marketing, as with most endeavors, you will be more likely to experience success if you strategize.

True, there are instances when content produced on a whim has “gone viral,” but those cases are few and far between. You may think you have a great content theme for a newsletter, white paper, video, or long-form post, but after spending substantial time (and we all know time is money) and proudly posting your work, you will soon discover your targeted audience could care less about the subject. Without content strategy, this will most likely happen time and again. Meanwhile, your biggest competitor has made their home at the top of every organic search and is exponentially capturing a larger share of the market. The Content Marketing Institute conducted a survey last year asking marketers whether or not they had developed a strategy for their content rollout. Their findings showed 83% of B2B businesses had employed content strategy and, since the importance of content is at an all-time high, you can certainly expect this number to grow in 2015.

We would hate for you to wind up in last place due to poor (or no) strategy. So, to help you get a head start, we have a few tips.

State (or restate) your UVP. You are in business because you have something of value to offer. So, what is that Unique Value Proposition? You can’t develop a strategy unless you know who you are and what you are offering.

Develop your brand voice. Now that you have professed who you are and what you are offering, it is time to describe the overall voice behind the brand. Do you want your content to be viewed as quirky, thoughtful, authoritative? The importance of a brand voice can not be overstressed. Oftentimes, there are multiple contributors to branded content and it’s crucial that said content is expressed from the brand, not the person behind it.

Determine who you are trying to reach with your content. Another one of our core values at Funnelbox is, “understand to be understood.” Knowing your audience is half the battle! Research who they are, what they care about, and where they get their information.

Set goals. Playing dodgeball isn’t going to win you a Heisman. Likewise, if your goal is to drive traffic to a website, posting links to a video on YouTube probably isn’t going to help you reach that goal directly. Clearly outline your objectives and you will have a much better chance of reaching them.

…and never forget: Brands and their varied audiences are not homogenous. Thus, you will be hard-pressed to find one uniform content strategy model. These tips ought to give you a good start when strategizing content creation and distribution but remember, your brand content is unique and the strategy behind it should be too.

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